Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Evening with the Bard

This year we set off the Shakespearean Season with an exclusive, invitation-only performance at Kuranui College.  Here was the chance for the 9 student directed scenes to battle it out for who would be representing us at the Intercolligiate Shakespeare in Schools festival.

The night was a huge success, with a great deal of imagination shown on stage.  The students had to battle their own fears, and their own peers, to get their scenes to performance.  There were tears, dramas and tantrums backstage, but quality performances onstage.  Zoe Renor was a convincing matron in her interpretation of "A Midsummer Nights Dream" while Alena-Rose Burt showed off her cunning in "Twelfth Night".  Swordplay was popular, used by Aodhan Stonnell well with his interpretation of "MacBeth", directing Louis and Barney.  Darren Dingle pulled an hillarious number out of the bag with "Hamlet" and his cast of zombies.  However, only one scene could be selected for the intercolls, and it went to Waimarama Phillips and Katie James with their scene from "Romeo and Juliet".

The 15 minute scene from "MacBeth" was also debuted to the fantastic crowd.  It was thrilling to see the way the students had really grown and dealt with their challenging roles.  Arjun Pathmanathan was a sight to behold as Banquo, and Louis was impressive as a romantic MacBeth, while the scene was completely stolen by Barney Johnson as Duncan every time he stepped on stage.  The cast worked fantastically well together and it worked well in the end.  The Year 11 class who were responsible for costumes, make-up and set design/construction did a magnificent job, and the show could not have been a success without them.

Louis and Aodhan face off as MacBeth and Young Siward.

Barney as MacDuff runs MacBeth through

Darren Dingle's "Hamlet" with Rowan Pemberton, Kevin Jephson, Arjun Pathmanathan & Dominic Hawke

Waimarama Phillips and Katie James in "Romeo and Juliet"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Year 9 Movie

With only a handful of scenes left to record, the Year 9 Drama class is well into their movie making unit.

We decided for the "Education for Enterprise" topic that we would make a movie for the School Reunion, showing past students how we see the school.  It started as a serious epic flick, and rapidly became a roll-in-the-aisles romp!  Between the enthusiasm from the Year 9 students themselves, and the help of Christina Hyde, we managed to get the raw footage (mostly).

Now all that remains is a few scenes recorded tomorrow, and editing the movie......... GASP!  Hopefully we will have something to see by Friday and a finished epic on Monday............. Hopefully.  Here are a couple of shots from our group scenes:

In the Library...... totally acting like readers.

In the Student Centre, creating a scene.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rehearsal, rehearsal!

For the Arts Department, now is all go!

With juniors making music videos, movies and plays, and all sorts of students out preparing for intercolligiate events, it is fair to say we are in full swing!

The band "Artificial Sun" is rocking the rock room, with some seriously awesome gigs on the horizon, and some astounding sounds.  Music lessons are in full swing with students learning guitar, drums, voice, and violin.  I don't know how Ms Webster keeps up with it all.

The Drama classes are busy preparing for the Intercolligiate Shakespeare in Schools performance, and their own show on the 29th.  And the Stage Challenge crew are working their feet raw with practises.  Kapa Haka is going strong with their weekly rehearsals.  It is all go, very busy, and very, very cool to see.

The Stage Challenge crew working on their choreography

Yr 11 students Finn, Aaron and Mikaela working on their scene from "Romeo and Juliet".

Sunday, March 21, 2010

According to Dance.....

Well, the Year 10 Dance class have just finished their unit on "Dancing in Music Videos".  The results of their term 1 effort are on Youtube, and looking good.  The whole unit takes a mammoth effort, to choreograph the dance, learn the moves, and then to film and edit it all.  Miss Pratt certainly goes the extra mile with this one.

So, well done Year 10 Dance, and to Miss Pratt.  The video for the song "According to You" created by the talented students is here presented to you:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Regional Fame in Print

Thanks to Jenna Powell of the Wairarapa Times Age, we have made printed news!  Yes, this blog is now mentioned in the paper (or at least was mentioned on Thursday evening).

If the paper brought you here, awesome!  And welcome to our Arts portal on the web.

Here we are in the paper, legendarilly mentioned in the first paragraph and referenced again in the ending.....

This article is a great one about the Stage Challenge and the skills that students gain in participating.  This is going to be a great year for the Arts, and Stage Challenge is a wonderful experience to kick it off.  The cast are working through their lunch hours to choreograph and practise the routines, and they look really professional.  The competition is in May, so they will only get better from here on out.

Watch this space for an announcement about the major Musical production this year...... we have secured the production rights, and we are a little excited about it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Artificial Sun

We have a rock band.  A funk rock band.  A psychedelic funk rock band.  No one can top the rock band.

The band was formed last year, and after a change of vocalist, have hit their stride and are a thing of beauty.  'Artificial Sun' made their debut in their current form at the end of last year at the Dance assessment show, and have performed numerous gigs since then.

Meet the band:
Barney Johnson:  Drummer.  Year 13.  Barn is the master of beats and dreads on drums.  Noted as Cultural leader, actor, musician and all around guru of cool.  Has been seen in a dress on drums, and often leads the half-naked installments.

Louis Gray:  Vocals.  Year 13.  Louis is an all-around winner, and speedster on the track.  Worthy leader of Aorangi, and exceptional performance skills in Music and Drama.  Last seen half-naked in the 'MacBeth' photo shoot.

Tom Simpson: Bass.  Year 12.  Genius underneath, but dreads on top, Tom is a young Mick Jagger in training (according to his music teacher).  He made the bass cool again with his masterful playing with their breakout hit, "House of Funk".

Jack Giles:  Guitar.  Year 12.  Once famous in the Jack Giles Groove, now strumming to a different beat, and aptly professor of the wah pedal.  Jack oozes cool.... but lost his dreads in a recent mathematics related disaster (or so the rumour has it).

"Artificial Sun" are mad keen rockers and wonderfully awesome people.  They have been working with Whitireia Polytechnic on an Extreme Songwriting course, and doing great.  Below are images of songwriting and performance in practice.  If you are near the rock room, check them out.

Louis working on lyrics and Jack working on his confused look.

Thinking of a rhyme for 'down', Tom, Barn and Louis.

Blasting out the premier of the new unnamed song, and sounding mighty fine!

Become an official fan on Facebook, run by their loyal manager Richard Tannant:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A little bit of Bard Medicine...

May the bad jokes continue as we prepare for the Intercolligate Shakespeare in Schools festival next month.  This year we are one of the 3 Wairarapa Colleges who have selected "MacBeth" as their 15 minute scene performance..... let's hope we all choose different acts and interpretations!

Without disclosing our interpretation of the play, we can disclose the key players.  Louis Gray plays the title role of MacBeth, and Barney Johnson as Duncan.  Arjun Pathmanathan plays the role of MacBeth's friend Banquo, and Waimarama Phillips is Lady MacBeth.  Dominic Hawke is an hillarious Ross, while the evil 'witches' are played by Daniel Cameron, Christina Hyde and Darren Dingle.  The cast is bolstered with Katie James, Donal Jephson, Adam Lesslie, Cat Wickman, James Owens, Jamie Rafferty, Jamie MacPherson and Bradley Hati, along with a chorus of Year 9-11 students.

This is the largest cast we have had in Shakespeare for a number of years, and the students are having fun with their interpretation of the script.  While the language is a daunting barrier for learning the lines, and for some, working out what is going on, it is a great opportunity to celebrate teh greatest playwright in the English Language.

We will be performing on March 29th at the Kuranui College Performing Arts Centre to an invitation only crowd, and looking forward to the Intercolligate Festival on April 27.  The best part will no doubt be seeing how different schools take on the challenge.  Wairarapa College have dominated the competition, and Rathkeale Senior College have done incredibly well in recent times.  Solway are set to put together a wonderful performance with their talented girls, and the 5 minute student directed scenes are always a sight to behold.  Here's hoping we can meet the same high standards.

Louis Gray, Waimarama Phillips and Barney Johnson.

James Owens, Christina Hyde and Adam Lesslie

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Inside Out

To bring a thrilling end to our festival season, I travelled over to Wellington with 20 Drama students to see the Swedish Circus show, "Inside Out".  We may've been home incredibly late, but it was one of the best performances we had ever seen.  The performers brought heart, soul, excitment, emotion and skill to the stage.  The juggling was beyond comparison.

This was a wonderful opportunity to go to see a truly international performance of the highest calibre, and I am sure it has raised the expectations of the students with regard to what quality performances look like. 

This will not be the last chance of the year to see some professional theatre, but it will be the last for a while.  Hopefully with MacBeth in full swing and Stage Challenge underway, we can take these new standards and raise our game.

Christina, Cat and Katie out at tea

Wai, Juanita and Aaron enjoy a laugh

Louis, Wai and Katie waiting for the show to begin

Dan hides his excitement about the show

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mission Control

Well, we gottem home!

Today we went into Wellington to see "Apollo 13: Mission Control" as part of the Festival of the Arts.  It was AMAZING!  Basically we got to be at the control panels trying to bring the Astronauts home from their aborted moon mission.

The script was amazing, it followed so much of what actually was said during the original event, and involved all of us.  It was a truly awesome and interactive performance.


The Guidance crew hard at work

The console seats.... mega cool.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Echoa Performance Review

The French Dance company with their performance of Echoa was today at school- and was totally amazing!  Exploring sound and movement, their idea was simple, and elegantly put together.  With percussion instruments and dance, they told stories, entertained and were just hysterical.

If you are sitting at home wondering what to do tonight, GO TO ECHOA.  They perform tonight at the school auditorium, and the ticket price has been dropped to $25- well and truly worth the price.  After the show they are unpacking and heading to Te Papa for the rest of the festival season, and it will be a mammoth undertaking to move the large scale set.  (Starts at 7pm, so RUN)

Go..... you will not regret it.

Thanks to Gary, Jo, Wai, Zemira, Barn and Louis for all their hard work today, as well as Carly and the festival crew who put together an amazing performance.  Thanks so much for choosing to perform at Kuranui!